Marathoners Do It Longer


After knocking out miles and miles, I took a breather to the mountains of Asheville, N.C. I wasn’t sure how to “recap” three months of training and 3+ hours of completing a marathon.

I conquered the 26.2 miles on the painfully hilly course in Atlanta, and I am proud to say I survived for the most part, injury-free. I managed a 3:42 time and had it not been for the hills – dare I say – I could have shaved off a few minutes. Told you, I am competitive. (Feel free to look up the time kiddies)

Georgia Marathon

Things your mama never told you about a marathon:

  • Training was hard f*n work. You have to buckle down and commit. Long runs on the weekend eat into your normal schedule, but somewhere along the way you learn to sacrifice and listen more to your body. I kept spinning and swimming, shaving off a few miles during the week, but keeping my endurance training high.
  • The race was lonely at times. There are many miles to cover and once you lose the momentum from the half marathon crowd, the back miles can be a bit abusive on the psyche.
  • Never underestimate a “good luck.” I was surrounded by friends and family during the race, and well wishes from friends keep you chugging through the miles.
  • I wanted to slow down around mile 20 and give in to the burning muscles, but I knew that if I did not finish in 4 hours I would have to do the whole marathon thing all over again. Onward and upward.
  • Post-race ego inflation.. There is something about lining up in the corrals with fellow racers and looking around at bibs to see who’s marked to run with the big dogs. I absolutely enjoyed slapping that 26.2 magnet on my car.
  • The day after the race, OK maybe minutes after, it felt like I had run into a wall, even sleeping hurt. Day 2, I was lightly (very lightly) cycling to churn the lactic acid out of my body. Day 4, I was on a five mile hike through part of the Appalachian Trail.

"You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming." Frank Shorter

I would not change a moment of this challenge. In hindsight I could have taken it easier on my diet and exercise the last week of training, but sometimes nerves get the best of you. I’ve run a lot of races, done a lot of fun things, but the congrats you receive after finishing a marathon quadruples anything I’ve ever accomplished. Certainly a highlight I’ll look back on fondly.

“We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.” Emil Zatopek

What’s next? It’s been a week and Andrew already has another goal for me. I’m certifiable, I know.

A few things I’m keeping on my radar:
– Explore yoga and pilates at least two times a week. After pounding pavement for months, it’s time to be more gentle to my body and refocus on strengthening my core.
– Form and function. The Audrey Hepburn of running I am not. After the first dozen miles “graceful” is not how I would describe my running technique. After looking at race photos it’s time to upgrade my outfits and my style. And time to read-up on foot and heel planting.
– Running for fun. Just picking up and going for me, not a schedule.

I still can’t believe I had the brass to run a marathon and for those considering a 26.2 challenge, it’s well worth the reward you receive when crossing that finish line.

Thank you ALL for following my rants and journey along the way. Air high-fives!
Here’s to spring, tri season and trying something new!

13 responses to “Marathoners Do It Longer

  1. HUZZAH!! way to get it, girl!! congrats on that coveted MARATHONER title – you so earned it…

    I’m excited to hear more about your new challenge, too!

    on my side, Jason has just started running (mostly our treadmill…) and I am working on changing his heel plant. I had a bit of a blip in my running gains, but I am back on track and am thinking of finding a 5k soon… my first “race” in a few years!! 🙂

    XXO! so supremely elated for you!!

  2. Congrats on the marathon! I agree with you- I don’t know how to run for fun either. Its always about training for something. I feel like I would like it more without training for something, but I can’t be motivated to run miles with no goal.

  3. FINALLY!! I’ve been waiting to hear your thoughts, and love the style of this ‘recap’. There are a LOT of things yo momma (i.e. other runners) don’t tell you, but once you finished and you’ve SURVIVED, you understand why. Frankie Shorter knows what he’s talking about, but if you decide to go for round 2 (which I have a Strong feeling you will 😉 ) you’ll quickly realize how much you learn from the first one. It’s black and white – you approach it with the smarts and the experience, and it just gets better.

    All of that being said, go enjoy taking it easy on the bod!!! I can’t believe you pulled out a 3:42 – SO freakin AMAZING. You’ve got a sub 3:40 in there, no doubt! Maybe you can pace me for it 😉 XO

  4. Nichole, I just found your blog, and this post came at the PERFECT time for me… I’ve run three half marathons (and will do another in May), and I’m trying to get the guts up to run the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I loved reading your recap, girlfriend!

  5. Love seeing your blog pop up in my reader! I’m sort of in awe of you and that marathon time. You seriously kicked that course’s ass. You inspire me! And I love your competitive nature. I just ran a half a couple days ago, which I know has nothing on 26.2, but as for taking care of our bodies, I’m with you on getting in some yoga and pilates. Perfect timing for me as I start work at lululemon. And by the way, if you’re looking for new running gear, check out lulu! I don’t know what I’d do without my speed shorts. 🙂


  6. Whoa!!! That is an awesome marathon time!! Just reading your recap made me want to consider a full marathon…someday. They still scare the pants off me…gotta get another half or two under my belt first. But you – you totally inspired me, even the scary “what you don’t expect” points about marathon training didn’t scare me as much as I thought. You.Are.A.Marathoner. How good does that feel??

  7. You are amazing, you speed demon! Congratulations!!!

    You may be over talking about it at this point, but I’d love to hear a little about your training/fueling plan.

    Can’t wait to see what your next goals are going to be.

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